By Sylvanus Tyoakaa, Abuja
Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has assured that the Electoral Offences Bill would be ready for the 2023 general elections. Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South), gave the assurance on Tuesday during the screening of 19 Residents Electoral Commissioners (RECs) nominated for reappointments and fresh appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The committee, however, received petitions against the nominations of Muhammad Lawal Bashir from Sokoto State, Pauline Onyeka Ugochi (Imo) and Dr. Oliver Tersoo, a nominee from Benue State, for being members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), respectively.
Senator Gaya said that the committee is working round the clock to ensure that INEC conducts free, fair and credible elections in 2023.
He added that the committee had already forwarded the Electoral Offences Bill to the technical committee in the house for legislative action.
“The National Assembly is unwaivering in making sure that the Independent National Electoral Commission succeeds in its assignment.
“It will interest you to know that the National Electoral Offences Bill is presently being worked on by a technical committee in the House of Representatives, the legislative intent is to ensure that INEC concentrates on the administration of elections while electoral offenders are brought to book to deter others and build a positive electoral culture for our nation.”
Commenting on the preparation for 2023 general election, Gaya said the preparation were in top gear, adding that it is an opportunity to prepare Nigerians for social, political and economic elevations.
The nominees that were screened for reappointments were Ibrahim Abdullahi, from Adamawa state, Obo Effanga, Cross River, Umar Ibrahim Taraba, Agboke Olaleke, Ogun.and Samuel Egwu Kogi.
The nominees for fresh appointments are Onyeka Ugochi from Imo; Muhammad Bashir (Sokoto); Prof. Ayobami Salami (Oyo); Zango Abdu (Katsina); Queen Agwu (Ebonyi); Agundu Tersoo (Benue); Yomere Oritsemlebi (Delta); Prof. Yahaya Ibrahim (Kaduna); Nura Ali (Kano); Agu Uchenna (Enugu); Ahmed Garki (FCT); Hudu Yunusa (Bauchi); Prof. Uzochukwu Chijioke (Anambra) and Mohammed Nura from Yobe State, respectively.